I would like to thank the FAs who completed our third-annual independent broker/dealer survey. It’s much appreciated. A word about the survey: By and large, we found FAs were happy with their firms. We queried the top 75 IBDs listed in our reader database. (We relied on Cerulli Associate’s headcount numbers to guide us. And we thank them for their input into the survey.) To be included, we needed at least 50 FAs from the any firm to be considered statistically significant—that’s according to our Penton Media’s statistics group, the people who execute our FA-satisfaction surveys. We did allow respondents to write in their firm if it was not listed. Century Securities actually garnered enough write-ins to get reported—52 of their advisors filled out the survey by writing their firm name in the “other” firm field. 

Please read Assistant Managing Editor Diana Britton’s article on the IBD space. Again, FAs were mostly pleased with their firms, but Diana in her reporting learned how tough small IBDs have it, what with the rising costs for compliance and for technology putting pressure on IBDs’ profitability.  This year we wrote short profiles of two smaller IBDs (ranked by headcount) which had undergone a corporate “event” in recent history and a third that also scored among the highest. (Why not let them have their day in the sun, we thought?) We obviously don’t have the manpower or the space to profile each firm. (That said, our publisher offers on our website WealthManagement.com a wealth management resource section where firms and FAs can become “members,” and list their company/individual info, press releases and other assorted goodies for free. Think of it as a social media destination to network among your peers.) 

Below are the firms, in alphabetical order, and the number of completed surveys their FAs filed.

 

Cambridge Investment Research, Inc. - 175

Centaurus Financial, Inc. - 98

Century Securities Associates, Inc. - 52

Commonwealth Financial Network - 68

First Allied Securities, Inc. - 120

FSC Securities Corporation - 94

Independent Financial Group, LLC - 95

Investacorp, Inc. - 102

LPL Financial Corporation - 66

MML Investors Services LLC - 59

Multi-Financial Securities Corporation (soon to be Cetera Advisors) - 59

Next Financial Group, Inc. - 57

NFP Advisor Services Group - 86

Raymond James Financial Services, Inc. - 137

Sagepoint Financial, Inc. - 228

Securities America, Inc. - 119

Securities Service Network - 72

Sigma Financial Corporation - 74

United Planners’ Financial Services of America A Limited - 91

VSR Financial Services, Inc. - 100

Woodbury Financial Services, Inc. – 220

 

Calling All Oustanding, Philanthropic Advisors

If you are a retail financial advisor (independent, RIA-affiliated, wirehouse employee—it doesn’t matter where you sit) please visit WealthManagement.com to offer a candidate (even yourself) for REP.’s 33rd Annual Advisors with Heart Awards. It used to be called the Outstanding Broker Award, but that didn’t describe the awards well enough. Each year we pick 10 excellent, sophisticated FAs who do more than merely practice financial planning or write checks to charitable organizations. We are looking for that and more: FAs who put sweat equity (as well as money) into a cause. The special package will run in May. Please apply on WealthManagement.com. Please explain why the candidate should be considered for the award.

David A. Geracioti

Editor-In-Chief